The first in a series of four EPs slated for release by theMDR, Inventing Shadows is a collection of dark dramatic songs that resist the over-arranged, over-thought tendencies of modern alternative music. Favoring mood and texture, and unafraid to take their time to unfold, the songs get progressively more experimental, from the driving twisting epic "Ashes In Her Eyes," to the ambient cinamatic collage of "Fear Is A Knife."
The themes of Inventing Shadows investigate infatuations with fantasy and what it means to surrender to things that are unattainable. The lyrics are born of emotional moments more than specific situations; some are lucid and others distraught, some are innocent and others perverted. The influences range from early Cure and Joy Division to Brian Eno and "The Idiot" era Iggy Pop, but when channeled thru JT's kinetic vocals and Matt's drumming intensity, the end result is quite unique and a far cry from the tired, borrowed, new wave resurgence of the last few years.
THE MOST DANGEROUS RACE
Over the course of several tours and record projects as a drummer (Filter, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, Morrissey) Matt Walker worked on his own music, writing in hotel rooms, on airplanes, behind stages, even on ferries. In early 2005 Matt approached vocalist, and fellow Chicagoan, JT McCluskey to help bring a few of his songs to completion. JT's vocals immediately brought a raw energy and new melodic scope to the songs, and the two soon recognized they had a powerful, creative chemistry. They began to collaborate on more songs, and named their project The Most Dangerous Race (theMDR).
In October 2005, theMDR spent a week at I.V.Lab studios in Chicago recording with studio owner / engineer Manny Sanchez. Matt also called in some musical favors from close friends Scott Bennett, Jonny Polonsky, Solomon Snyder, and Jim Dinou. A few months later, just as the recordings were reaching completion, Matt took the opportunity to join Morrissey's band and embarked on a year long world tour. At this point, theMDR went virtual, with more writing and recording on the road, and sending song files back and forth on the internet. But the path for theMDR became even more clear as the year came to a close. While on the road, Matt catalogued all of his demos, which came to a startling count of 130 compositions. So theMDR crashed into 2007 with a new plan. They would begin finishing the demos in groups of 6 songs and self-release them as a series of EPs, the only time-line being the speed in which each EP could be completed. EP1, Inventing Shadows, was released in March 2007, and EP2, Metallic Tongue, was released in September 2007.
theMDR is: JT McCluskey (vocals), Matt Walker (guitar, keyboards, programming, drums), Steve Gerlach (guitar, vocals), and Larry Schroeder (bass).